Why did Rachel Carson,‘this spinster without children,’ care so much about genetics?

Rachel Carson / Population Connection via geneticliteraryproject.org

No book has done more to fire up environmental activists than Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, which showed the profound harm insecticides like DDT could do to songbirds and others in the food chain. But its arguments confused many people when the book was published on Sept. 27, 1962.

“Ezra Taft Benson, Dwight Eisenhower’s secretary of agriculture, wondered ‘why this spinster…



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Janice Harayda

Critic, novelist, award-winning journalist. Former book editor of the Plain Dealer and book columnist for Glamour. Words in NYT, WSJ, and other major media.